Alex Boone says criticism of offensive line is “right and fair”


Vikings guard Alex Boone praised the toughness of quarterback Sam Bradford in the aftermath of Sunday’s victory over the Packers. Adding to Boone’s impression of Bradford’s toughness is Boone’s impression of his quarterback’s slender physique.

“When you’re looking at him you’re like, ‘Where’s the rest of him?'” Boone said Tuesday on PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio and NBCSN. “He seems so much bigger on TV. But he’s a tough kid, tough, tough kid, and that’s the thing I love about him the most. Not that he’s a gunslinger, that he can put the ball where he wants to when he has to, but the fact that he’s just so tough and resilient. He stands in there and then he gets excited when something big happens, he gets really excited and that’s what makes this team so fun.”

Bradford’s toughness is being tested because he’s being hit, a lot. And he’s being hit a lot because the offensive line isn’t keeping that from happening. So what does Boone think about the criticism of the play of the offensive line?

“We watched [the film] yesterday and a lot of that criticism is right and it’s fair and we understand that,” Boone said. “We’ve got to pick our game up. Obviously the run game is completely unacceptable and I know people say a lot of things but at the end of the day it falls on the offensive line to always make it go. No matter what happens you always got to make the run game go. That’s gonna be a challenge this week against a good, good defense. Pass-wise, obviously, protection always falls on the offensive line and that’s another thing we kind of dwindled a little bit last week. We’ve got to pick that up big time this week.”

How specifically does that happen?

“I think the one thing you do is you go back and watch the film of the game that just happened and you say, ‘You know what? Listen, these are simple fixes.’ These are elementary problems. Let’s not let this linger. Let’s not make this a bigger problem than it has to be. We know what we did wrong. We know what we can clean up. Let’s go out and let’s practice against it. You know that’s another thing; Wednesday’s practice is so important. You’ve got to go out and you’ve got to be great on Wednesday. You’ve got to practice great and you’ve got to have the scout team coming at you tough and I think that’s going to be the big key this week.”

It won’t be easy; the Vikings face the Panthers in Carolina. They have a potent defense, especially along the defensive line. It makes the preparation even more challenging and important, as the Vikings try to get to 3-0 with what would be an upset win over Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly, and company.

50 responses to “Alex Boone says criticism of offensive line is “right and fair”

  1. With this comment, I admire Alex Boone.

    He stands up and takes responsibility.

    Alex, you are welcome in my house at any time.

  2. The first step to fixing a problem is admitting it exists. Seems elementary, but a lot of players, and even a surprising amount of head coaches struggle with aspect of improvement.

    Just ask Rex about his team…

  3. Boone is going to wear out his welcome quickly if he doesn’t step it up. If Jared Allen wasn’t a beast on the field no one would have put up with his “I’m a redneck but it’s funny” routine.

  4. O line allowed zero sacks week 1. Yes, they looked bad week 2 but you have to credit GB D line who whooped them. TEN has a pretty good D too but they played great against them. They aren’t the best O line but they also aren’t the worst

  5. They need to figure it out if they want any chance of contending this year. If they Bradford to get hit like he did Sunday night, Shaun Hill will be starting by week 8.

    I wonder why they haven’t reached back out to Sullivan, and perhaps move Berger to guard. Fusco has really gotten punished off the line, and Clemmings should take over for either Kalil or Smith sooner rather than later.

  6. I really thought things would be improved from last year but so far it looks even worse. With two new starters and a new offensive line coach, maybe they just need some more time to gel. Let’s hope they get it together before Bradford gets killed back there.

  7. Kalil needs to get healthy. Fusco needs to get lower. He got abused all night by Daniels. I realize that Daniels is a strong, squatty type, but you can’t let him get under your pads and shove you back into the QB play after play. Fusco just hasn’t been the same since he got injured a couple of years ago.

  8. “When you’re looking at him you’re like, ‘Where’s the rest of him?’” Boone said

    He looks like Cam Newton compared to Li’l Aaron!

    I guess when you’re 6’8″ and 310 pounds, a guy who is only 6’4″ and 225 looks pretty small.

  9. It started showing last year and is really showing this year, how many teams fans can say they are happy with their teams offensive lines. I haven’t watched all the games this years but I could say there are 4 or 5 quality units – Denver, Panthers, Cowboys and Jets – Feel free to add another quality line because I haven’t watched all teams play this year.

    Almost every other game I have watched the d-lines were owning the line of scrimmage. When Tom Cable said college offensive lineman aren’t coming out ready I thought that was just something to justify not spending top draft picks on offensive lineman. Now I look at guys like Warmack, Joeckel or Greg Robinson and I don’t think he was talking nonsense.

  10. If that OL doesn’t step it up this week, Shaun Hill is going to be the Viking starting QB in week 4.

    Honestly, Boone isn’t the problem.

    The problem on that OL is that Matt Kalil plays like a human turnstile, Brandon Fusco had his lunch (and dinner) eaten by the Green Bay DL, and Andre Smith looks no better this year than T.J. Clemmings looked as a rookie last year.

  11. “We watched [the film] yesterday and a lot of that criticism is right and it’s fair and we understand that,” Boone said.

    I like it when a player can admit that he is part of the problem.

    Unlike a prima donna QB to the east that instead chooses to throw his receivers under the bus.

    Now work at your craft and solve the problem…

  12. Everlast79, it wasn’t Thomas Davis, it was Mike Mitchell and he hit him as he was running out of bounds, then proceeded to celebrate over him as he was rolling around in pain from blowing out his knee.

  13. thebirdofprey I think it has everything to do with the gimmick college spread offense. These linemen aren’t lining up in a 3 point stance that often and many don’t really have a playbook.

  14. In Teddy We Trust says:
    Sep 20, 2016 4:41 PM

    “When you’re looking at him you’re like, ‘Where’s the rest of him?’” Boone said

    He looks like Cam Newton compared to Li’l Aaron!

    I guess when you’re 6’8″ and 310 pounds, a guy who is only 6’4″ and 225 looks pretty small.
    Imagine how small Tiny Teddy looks to him then! Or are viking fans now proclaiming Bradford to be “the answer” and have already forgotten about Teddy and his little hands?

  15. @bordner –

    Teddy is bigger than Li’l Aaron and his hands are only 1/8″ smaller, not that any of those things matter.

    Bradford looks like a more than capable fill-in for Teddy, and we’ll see how good he can be. If Sam is outstanding and Teddy comes back healthy, that’s a good problem to have. Maybe we’ll trade Sam to the Jets and tell them they aren’t allowed to trade him to Green Bay.

  16. They’d be better but their fans don’t understand when to be loud and when to shut up.

    Send an explanatory email like what was needed by Niners fans.

  17. RELAX. A few years ago the analysts were berating the Cowboys for their poor offensive line play despite making a huge investment in personnel, low and behold it has paid off for them. It took some time for them to come together though.

    If you ask me, love is in the air. I can feel it.

  18. Boone and Berger are the only ones playing tolerably, and even then not all that great. Kalil’s hip injury must be preventing him from gaining any leverage against bull rushes — he used to just suck against speed rushes. Fusco has simply sucked in all aspects and its a shame Harris has his mystery ailment and can’t replace him. Smith seems barely tolerable in pass protection but Fusco-like bad on running plays. If Sully had been worth a damn, they could have slid Berger over to RG and put Fusco on the bench where he belongs. I hope they improve, but am skeptical.

    Carolina has some good interior linemen, so I hope they wrap Bradford in an extra layer of bubble wrap Sunday.

  19. Boone is not playing well but they can’t replace him because they don’t have the depth and he’s making too much money. He’d better figure it out fast.

    I predict Smith will be replaced by T.J. Clemmings by Week 4. You may groan, but Clemmings started 17 games last year and that experience will serve him well now that he’s in his second year.

  20. I never saw a lineman get shoved back so many times in one game as Fusco was . I thought it looked like a Varsity player pushing a freshman squad player . Fusco is with too small , too weak or too poor in his technique because he got his ass handed to him play after play after play

  21. I can’t believe the Packer trolls are clogging this thread. Time to go lie down by your dish boys. You are currently irrelevant.

  22. Hey Alex. Know you read this. I also know you lite many candles in church for the contract you got. In short, you suk, always have and always will. LOL. And you know it

  23. I will admit, I was quick on these boards to roast Spielman for the trade. But Bradford looked DAMN GOOD Sunday night and to consider how well he appeared to know the playbook and has already built timing with the WRs is impressive. If they figure out a way to protect him, look out cause Zimmer has that Vikings defense ballin old school.

    The one thing that kept puzzling me, Collinsworth kept talking about how the Vikings OL were “maulers” yet it seemed they suck just as bad at run blocking as they do in pass pro. Peterson had nowhere to go most of the night.

  24. This guy provides a lot of copy for the media, seems like we hear from him almost weekly about something. But it doesn’t hide the fact that he’s just not a very good player. Stifle yourself Alex and just play better.

  25. Boone and Berger are fine. Smith’s borderline, but could improve with more time in the system. Fusco and Kalil are serious liabilities and there’s no viable depth behind them. IMO, they should have gotten Sitton ahead of Chicago.

    The Carolina front 7 are one of the top 5, if not top 3 front 7s in the NFL, and they’re going to put Sparano’s adjustments to a serious test.

  26. You could have caught passes?!

    Spielmen should have drafted you in the first round, because you would would be outproducing Treadwell right now. Even with “all that selling out” Diggs was the only receiver with more than 45 yards, and the Vikings managed to score 17 points.

    The Packers Defense wasn’t the issue the other day, GBs offense should score 20 points a game, Rodgers was sloppy with the ball, and poor play calling added up. That’s poor execution, on their part, and they will improve moving forward.

  27. whatjusthapped says:
    Sep 20, 2016 7:11 PM
    Boone’s best days are behind him, but that’s a common theme on the Vikings O line.


    5 sacks your squad gave up, which doesn’t even accurately reflect how poor of a job they did protecting Aaron, who had three fumbles.

    Couldn’t even convert a 4th and 1.

    Also enjoyable to see Everson steamroll Bakhtiari for a sack after that nice contract he got there.

  28. shaggy

    To add on to mnvikes post above, I’d like to know how Packer fans who posted all preseason how the Packers passing offense would be back to “normal” with the return of Jordy Nelson after a piss poor 2015 season.

    Fact is, it’s much worse than last year. Is it Jordy’s fault or the prima donna QB who throws his teammates under the bus?

  29. Boone is 100% correct. Every fan of every team should criticize when something is lacking. Look at what Bradford did with being bull rushed all game? If that guy has time, he will pick any defense apart. The OL as a whole needs to improve drastically. That is clearly the only weakness on this team, if they fix that, the sky is the limit for a very young, very talented, and very well coached team for years to come.

  30. IF Bradford plays like he did Sunday night (lets be honest – NONE of us were expecting that; not even the biggest Vikings fans including me) I think we have a chance to give the Panthers a run for their money. Just like we did to the Broncos last year.

    For this Vikes team to keep rolling the following needs to happen:
    -Defense needs to keep it up. They’re playing great. Don’t let up.
    -O-line needs to keep the QB off his back.
    -Keep Rudolph rolling.
    -Would be nice to get some production out of Charles Johnson. He’s always the stud of pre-season but in real games he fizzles out.
    -Keep playing with a chip on your shoulders.

    This Vikes team will be for real if these things happen.

  31. gtodriver says:
    Sep 20, 2016 11:57 PM

    Fact is, it’s much worse than last year. Is it Jordy’s fault or the prima donna QB who throws his teammates under the bus?

    Why does it have to be one players fault? It’s a team game… Jordy is recovering, and while Rodgers is off to slow start. I don’t know if the first NFL season you have watched, but those things happen a bit.

    Peterson had a slow start last year and ended up leading the the NFL in rushing. So Viking fans should know all about slow starts, and how they can be turned around.

  32. shaggytoodle says:

    Rodgers is off to slow start.


    A slow start?

    He’s had a slow last 12 regular season games. He’s lost 7 of 12 after starting last season 6 – 0.

    Last year, he had the worst QB rating of his career (as a starter). This year he’s even worse.

    In those last 12 games, he’s only thrown for more than 300 yards twice. Some people would say that’s a good number.

    But he lost both of those games – and it took 61 passes in the Lions game to produce those yards.

    He got swept by the NFC North at Lambeau Field last year.

    I could go on, but I won’t.

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